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Ten Reasons Sony Should Not be in First Place (Broken)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on February 15, 2004   |   Episode 56 (Show Archive)  

WALL OF TEXT EXPLAINED: What you're looking at is an episode of Countdown w/ Defunct Games published before 2006. As you can tell, something has gone horribly awry. I won't bore you with the technical details, but it has to do with the old layout being incompatible with the new. Eventually, we would like to retrofit these old episodes of Countdown, but that will require a significant amount of time. As Defunct Games has only a limited staff, we aren't sure when we'll have the chance to fix this article. If you absolutely need to know what this article said, get a hold of us on Twitter or leave a message in the comment section below. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you will enjoy the episodes created post-2006.

#10 They have a Spotty Record on Obscure Titles They'll release yearly installments of popular franchise titles like Jak and Ratchet & Clank, but we're still waiting on that sequel to Ico. It's nice to see the Mark of Kri is finally getting its much deserved sequel, but that's about it in the obscure game department. They could have gone ahead and released Vib Ripple, but no, we get the third Ratchet & Clank in the same amount of years. Yikes. And while we're at it, Sony hates 2D, too. They hated it way back in the days of the original PlayStation, and they hate it even more now. So far they seem dead set against a U.S. Killer 7, and I've even heard people talk about how Viewtiful Joe may not make it to these shores. Whatever the case, Sony just hasn't grasped the fundamentals of niche video games, something Sega was always very good at. #9 Sony Censored BMX XXX! Yeah, it was a crummy game that absolutely nobody should buy . but that still doesn't make up for the fact that Sony opted to censor the game instead of releasing it with the nudity. The target audience of older gamers will most likely remember the battle Nintendo had over the bloody and violent Mortal Kombat, and some, like me, may even start comparing Sony to Nintendo from now on. I'll be the first to admit that strippers and nudity doesn't belong in an extreme sports game (the Sims, yes, but not extreme sports), but I find it even more offensive that Sony felt that PlayStation 2 owners weren't old enough to handle fake breasts, but didn't have a problem with the Grand Theft Auto series. Shame on you Sony!! #8 No Long-Term Online Strategy I'll be the first to admit that Sony's current plan is working; they've released dozens of great games to play online and many of the newer ones are supporting the headset as well as featuring buddy lists. But this current set up isn't going to work forever, and eventually they are going to need to address the future. Microsoft spent millions of dollars to make sure the Xbox Live would be the best online community now and in ten years. Eventually Sony is going to have to create a unified network that makes staying in contact easy and helps smaller companies take part in this growing industry. I'm not sure a pay service is the right way to go, but what Sony currently has seems slapped together and poorly thought out . which is especially odd considering how long it took Sony to finally release the Network Adaptor. #7 It's a Lousy DVD Player If you're not too demanding, it will get the job done . but for the most part it has no bells or whistles and some questionable playback. I've known people who have gone their whole life without having a problem watching movies on their PS2, but then, I also hear the numerous horror stories. In my experience I found that the very first DVD I tried featured glitches, but cleared up and worked fine after that. In sharp contrast, Microsoft's Xbox DVD playback is crisp and glitch free. Only recent PlayStation 2 units have offered progressive scan playback, whereas the Xbox has since day one. None of this will disrupt your gaming pleasure, but there is something to be said about a DVD function that actually works 100% of the time. #6 Disappointing and Slimmed Down Ports of Great Games Although the PlayStation 2 has a lot of great games, occasionally it's easy to tell its age. This is no more apparent than when you put a game side by side with the GameCube or Xbox. In some cases the game isn't just cosmetically better; it's bigger and more fun on the Xbox. Games like Rainbow Six 3, Max Payne, and Wolfenstein are fundamentally flawed on the PlayStation 2, especially when you look at the PC or Xbox games. This is not always the case, but more times than not the PlayStation 2 version suffers from some kind of slimming down. It's one thing to have to forgo some graphic quality, but when it starts eating into the actual level size and extras, it might be time to opt against the PlayStation 2 version. #5 Expensive Hard Drive Bundle If you ask me a Final Fantasy XI pack with the game and the Hard Drive makes a heck of a lot of sense. After all, it is the game that most people will buy the hard drive to play. But you have to wonder, why is that the ONLY way you can buy the hard drive? Surely there are thousands of SOCOM II gamers who will want to download the new levels and weapons . but don't want to pay twice as much for a game they don't plan on ever playing. There is so much potential for third parties, but if Sony is only willing to sell the hard drive to the select few who want to go online with Final Fantasy, then they may be saying good bye to many of those companies. Even Sony's EyeToy had a better set up than the hard drive, which will continue to flounder until it's sold by itself for a good price. #4 They Have a Terrible Track Record with First Party Games! This complaint is an oldie, but a goody. When Sony first announced their intentions to enter the console market many critics and detractors pointed to Sony's miserable list of Super NES, Genesis, and Sega CD titles. Mostly based on Sony's movies, Sony Imagesoft released a bevy of me-too 2D action games based on everything from Cliffhanger to Hook to the Three Ninjas to Bram Stoker's Dracula. Things are a little better now, but there are still a number of duds that seem to work their way onto the PlayStation 2. Take Sony's two most recent titles, Syphon Filter: the Omega Strain and Jet Li's Rise to Honor, both had huge potential, but neither lived up to the hype. While Sony's third parties are pulling their weight, Sony still hasn't been able to get their act together long enough to release much of importance. #3 A Few Too Many Reported "Manufacturing" Problems Having problems with your PlayStation 2? Well, you're not alone, because just about everybody has had difficulties from time to time. This is especially true if you were one of the lucky ones who picked up a PlayStation 2 when it first came out; thanks to a manufacturing defect most of those machines have problems loading games, playing full motion video, and recognizing controls. Many have stopped working all together. Though Sony has made fixes to their units, there are still too many problems with the PlayStation 2 to be overlooked. The GameCube and Xbox have their problems, there's no question about that, but rarely will you have as severe a problem as you will with an older PS2. #2 Two Players? TWO PLAYERS?!? If the Nintendo 64 taught us anything, it was that every game system should have four plugs for four players! And you know, all systems since then have had four player support. The Dreamcast, the Xbox, the GameCube, heck, even the Phantom uses it . but not the PlayStation 2! You can buy a four-player adaptor, but we're talking about the 21st century now, not the Super NES!! This omission gives off the signals that the system isn't fun for parties, and thus many companies opt not to support four-player games. There are a lot of great party games on the PlayStation 2, enough to be worth the price of the adaptor, but most people won't know because it's just another thing they have to buy that isn't a game. If the PlayStation 3 comes without four plugs, we may have to get them in front of a special Congressional hearing and make them explain their actions. Of course, maybe four-player games is obsolete with online gaming. Maybe Sony was just ahead of their time. Nah! #1 They've been on autopilot since mid 2003 Now that Sony enjoys a huge lead, most can probably forgive them for lying back and relaxing, but so far they have been comatose in 2004. At the start of the year it was just the software, with the Xbox getting many of the best first quarter titles (Ninja Gaiden, Splinter Cell: Pandora's Tomorrow, etc.). But soon enough Microsoft struck with a price cut that Sony didn't bother to match. And what did Sony do when Electronic Arts, their biggest online supported, decided to jump ship and give the Xbox Live a shot? Absolutely nothing! Not a damn thing. Sony isn't worried about Nintendo's upcoming DS, they aren't worried about slumping sales, and they don't seem to care that both Microsoft and Nintendo have some of the biggest games of their career coming out in the next twelve months. Perhaps they don't care, when you're that far ahead it's easy to just be complacent. Let's hope they are just holding their cards close and have something huge planned for the next generation. So, why is Sony in first? If you were to simply read my list of reasons they shouldn't be you'd think there was no reason to even own a PlayStation 2, but that isn't the case. Sony is smart enough to have a few things on their side to keep gamers happy no matter what their interest is. It seems only fair to include a list of the reasons they are number one, so you can come to a fair decision. Here are a few things they are doing right! Five Reasons Sony is in the Lead! It has the largest selection of games of any of the systems currently available! If you add all of the current generation PlayStation 2 games to the hundreds of original PlayStation games that can be played on the unit, the library is simply hard to compete with. No matter what kind of game you like, chances are there are at least 50 different games in that genre, with half of them being under $10! It features, without a doubt, the best control on the market! It's not just compared to the Xbox and GameCube controls, it's compared to all controls throughout history. Sony had the good sense to take what was great about the best controls and turn it into something that just feels right in your hands. The analog sticks are easy to get to, the design is comfortable, and they are cheap to buy. Too bad you only get one. Those USB Ports Are a Godsend! One could argue that the USB ports haven't been used properly, but there have been a few good examples of how to use them. These days most people use them for either the headset or a keyboard, but you can also use the EyeToy with them. Gamers eager to go online before the Network Adaptor was launched could use a third party USB Network Adaptor. It's Space Conscience! The Xbox is large and heavy, the GameCube is small and fat, but the PS2 can be fit in just about any situation. If you're short on space, just sit it up so it barely takes up any room at all . and if you don't like that, you can leave it laying down, and stack stuff on top of it. It's just that easy. Boy, it's awfully hard to come up with good reasons to buy the PS2 over the other systems. They Didn't Make You Buy a Remote Control to Play DVD! It's not much, but for cheap gamers (college students, the unemployed, etc.) it was nice to see Sony allow you to play games and watch movies without having to buy anything extra (except maybe the game and the movie). The Xbox made you buy the remote, which wasn't overly expensive, but still something that could be done with the control.


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